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March 2012
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Alan Turing Statue

Alan Turing


By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on March 23, 2012


New research from the UK suggests people with autism have a greater than normal capacity for processing information.


This aptitude is evident even when the presentation is presented rapidly. Autistic individuals are also better at detecting information defined as ‘critical.’


Investigators believe the findings may help to explain the apparently higher than average prevalence of people with autism spectrum disorders in the IT industry.


Autism is a lifelong developmental disorder that affects social interaction, communication and, often, learning; however, people with autism show an increased ability to focus attention on certain tasks.


However, lab and field research has shown that these individuals can be more sensitive to the distracting effects of irrelevant stimuli, such as flashing lights or particular sounds, which can be easily ignored by people without the disorder.


In the study, Professor Nilli Lavie, from the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL, hypothesized that this combination of the ability to focus and a susceptibility to distraction might be caused by a higher than normal information processing capacity.


“Our work on perceptual capacity in the typical adult brain suggests a clear explanation for the unique cognitive profile that people with autism show,” she says.


“People who have higher perceptual capacity are able to process more information from a scene, but this may also include some irrelevant information which they may find harder to ignore. Our research suggests autism does not involve a distractibility deficit but rather an information processing advantage.”


Read in Full:

http://psychcentral.com/news/2012/03/23/autism-linked-to-superior-information-processing-skills/36425.html



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